The loss of a loved one is perhaps one of the most difficult experiences of our lives. At St. Therese of Lisieux Parish, we share with you our faith which although we are experiencing sorrow, invites us to know the hope of Jesus' Resurrection. When a loved one dies, those left behind are filled with the conflicting emotions of intense sorrow and grief, coupled with Christian joy and thankfulness that the suffering is over and everlasting life in heaven is beginning. The Roman Catholic funeral rites offer a beautiful, profound journey through grief and loss to the joy of anticipation of the resurrection of the dead.

Planning a Funeral At St. Therese

When a loved one has died or death is imminent, planning a funeral requires many decisions that families are not always prepared to make. Advance planning is always advisable. Funeral homes are very helpful in assisting families with this process. The parish also provides the Mass of Christian Burial booklet that will help the family with planning the funeral Mass. We also encourage family members to be a part of the funeral liturgy where appropriate. Please use the Ways to Participate in the Funeral Mass Form to help with listing the Scripture readings and music for the funeral liturgy as well as. Feel free to contact the parish office at 586.254.4433 if you have any questions. The funeral booklet and participation forms are available below to download.

The Funeral Rites

The “Order of Christian Funerals” envisions the funeral rites as comprising of three principal events: the Vigil for the Deceased, The Funeral Liturgy, and the Rite of Committal.

Vigil for the Deceased: The vigil usually takes place at the funeral home and a ministry leader representing the parish will lead the vigil service. While many Catholics find the rosary to be very comforting at the time of death, the ritual of the Church clearly prefers a Vigil service with Scripture readings and prayers. The Vigil service is also the appropriate setting for family or friends to offer eulogies or tributes.

We encourage families to have the body of the deceased lie in state in the church proper immediately prior to the Funeral Liturgy. This practice permits family and friends to gather directly at the Church and allows for a more natural flow of events at the beginning of the funeral rites in the Church.

The Funeral Liturgy: The funeral liturgy is offered in two forms: the Funeral Mass and the Funeral Liturgy Outside Mass. For active and practicing Roman Catholics, the Funeral Mass is the preferred norm. At St. Therese our Funeral Mass times are usually at 10 AM and Noon to allow for two Funeral Masses in one morning. If a Funeral Liturgy outside Mass is celebrated, a deacon or priest may preside, and such a celebration usually takes place at the funeral home.

Rite of Commital: When the body is taken for burial, the Church is present in this final act of celebrating the life of the deceased. The prayer of committal can be offered at the graveside or in a chapel and usually follows the Funeral Liturgy.

While burial of the whole body is preferred, for a variety of reasons, a person may choose cremation. Ideally, the funeral rites should be conducted before cremation. When the body has already been cremated, A Funeral Liturgy may be celebrated with the cremated remains of the body present. Cremated remains of the body should be buried or interred in a grave or a mausoleum.